As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride Info

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From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in
The Princess Bride, comes the New York Times bestselling
account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic
film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and
interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal,
Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and
screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob
Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for
close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of
the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as
one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride
will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.


Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an
unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in
the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has
created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen
photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of
set secrets and backstage stories.

With a foreword by Rob Reiner
and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard
Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved
film.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride:

4

Nov 09, 2014

*4.5*

I'm so mad at myself for waiting so long to read this.

This book was absolutely delightful, and made me love The Princess Bride even more than I already did. So many of Cary's stories about quirky, unusual things that took place behind the scenes (but are noticeable in the finished film, if you know where to look) make me excited to re-watch the movie yet again.

The only downside was the format. I loved getting little asides from the other cast members and director, but they were inserted so *4.5*

I'm so mad at myself for waiting so long to read this.

This book was absolutely delightful, and made me love The Princess Bride even more than I already did. So many of Cary's stories about quirky, unusual things that took place behind the scenes (but are noticeable in the finished film, if you know where to look) make me excited to re-watch the movie yet again.

The only downside was the format. I loved getting little asides from the other cast members and director, but they were inserted so randomly throughout the text that it sort of took away from Cary's writing. It just disjointed the narrative a bit too much for me, but I don't know how else it could have been done, so I'll forgive it.

Overall, a fantastic book that I will forever recommend to anybody who loves The Princess Bride. ...more
3

Jan 13, 2017


Three stars? Inconceivable!

--I do not think that word means what you think it means--

It's true; it is barely conceivable that one could not adore "As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride." But despite a deep and lasting fondness for the movie (of course I own a copy), this was a mixed adventure, much like a stroll through the Fire Swamp. Despite containing fencing, giants, and the miracle of a sleeper hit, I found it lacking in fighting, revenge and true love.

I
Three stars? Inconceivable!

--I do not think that word means what you think it means--

It's true; it is barely conceivable that one could not adore "As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride." But despite a deep and lasting fondness for the movie (of course I own a copy), this was a mixed adventure, much like a stroll through the Fire Swamp. Despite containing fencing, giants, and the miracle of a sleeper hit, I found it lacking in fighting, revenge and true love.

I spent an accidental Audible credit on the audio version (I didn't cancel quite soon enough), noting it was read by Elwes. It was delightfully read; though somewhat stilted at the beginning, he soon finds his pace and story-telling voice, and it stops sounding quite so much as reading, and more like telling. His voice is charming, soothing, measured, resonant; clearly the voice of someone trained in theater. It also appears that Elwes is a surprisingly accomplished mimic, as he reads certain sections in voices of the involved people. There are also guest appearances recounting their own roles in that particular section, including the director Rob Reiner, his friend and co-producer Andrew Scheinman, author William Goldman, actors Robin Wright, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane and Fred Savage (basically, all the actors with speaking parts who were still alive).

The trouble for me was that so much of what Elwes was saying was--forgive me--dull. Elwes seems a genuinely nice guy, as evidenced by his effusive praise for absolutely everyone involved with the project. Everyone has a body of work he admires. Everyone is enormously talented. Everyone is incredibly kind to someone virtually naive to a Hollywood style production. The first chapter sounded more like someone reading an Imdb page than storytelling. "Of course, his work in Spinal Tap..." "I was a big fan of... "etc.

I'm not a film buff and much I didn't recognize nor did I particularly care as it was basically resume-listing. It isn't that I wanted scandal, but I was looking for personal and character details that couldn't be found in a filmography. I suspect a three-fold effect was in operation: first, that Elwes is genuinely nice; second, his recount is through the golden glass of nostalgia; and three, that he doesn't want to burn any professional bridges. I actually tried speeding up the read at one point, something I have never done, because it was so tedious. I wouldn't recommend it. While it did indeed go faster, I found I missed Elwes' speaking cadence almost immediately.

The overall content was intermittently interesting. Here are the specific insights:

--Robin Wright is gorgeous. At the time was locked into a contract for the soap Santa Barbara. They set her free long enough for the movie, but demanded an additional year commitment.
--Andre the Giant was a huge person, an alcoholic, sweet, and incredibly generous. He was troubled by back pain. Note Elwes never used the word 'alcoholic,' but instead described the vast amounts he would drink. And his farts were epic. Hearing Elwes say the word 'fart' totally made my inner ten-year-old giggle.
--I have a suspicion that Elwes and Mandy Patinkin were very competitive on set, although most of the detail about this was left out. Practice for the swordfight took weeks.
--The actor that played the ROUS fighting The Man in Black caused a delay in shooting when he was picked up the night before for operating under the influence.
--Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) was dreadfully afraid he was inadequate after hearing the part was first offered to Danny DeVito. No official word if this was true. Personally, I think DeVito couldn't have played it straight enough and would have failed my one of my favorite lines: "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia.'"
--Elwes was a total dolt and broke his toe on Andre's four-wheeler. That scene where he says, "life is pain, Highness" --totally real. He also genuinely fell unconscious when Christopher Guest (Count Rugen) knocked him on the head. No acting needed!
--That scene in the Fire Swamp when Robin is set on fire? Also totally real. Fire-retardant dress. William Goldman ruined the first take because he forgot the scene and over-reacted.
--Rob Reiner gives a lot of hugs.


Most of the content is the recounting of various emotional states before, during and after filming with details that are too hazy for people who weren't there. Let me 'splain: twenty plus years ago, I was the waterfront director at a rustic girl scout camp. I remember it as absolutely glorious, and I can recount a few specific instances of when we laughed so much it hurt and a couple moments of unspeakable beauty, but on the whole, I wouldn't expect anyone to want to listen to me recount details. I could only give enough specifics for ten minutes of good story-telling; the rest of the time, the listener would just be listening to my interpretation of my emotional state.

Overall, not sad I listened to it--it is The Princess Bride, after all--and I'm sure the details will add another layer of appreciation to the movie, and another reason for haters to be annoyed by my movie love. But I'd suggest borrowing this one.

"No more rhymes now, I mean it!"
"Anybody want a peanut?" ...more
4

Nov 16, 2014

I was the perfect audience for this memoir. I have probably seen the movie "The Princess Bride" 100 times, and I've read William Goldman's book so often that the cover is torn, the binding is broken and some pages are falling out.

Oh, and the song "Storybook Love" played at my wedding. So yes, I am a fan.

"As You Wish" is the story of how the movie "The Princess Bride" got made. Cary's perspective is the main one, but other cast and crew members shared anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories I was the perfect audience for this memoir. I have probably seen the movie "The Princess Bride" 100 times, and I've read William Goldman's book so often that the cover is torn, the binding is broken and some pages are falling out.

Oh, and the song "Storybook Love" played at my wedding. So yes, I am a fan.

"As You Wish" is the story of how the movie "The Princess Bride" got made. Cary's perspective is the main one, but other cast and crew members shared anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories about the production. Director Rob Reiner's sections were especially interesting, since he had to jump through a lot of hoops to get the movie made.

Some of my favorite stories were about André the Giant, who had a voracious appetite for both food and drink, and everyone praised his loveability and generosity. It was also sweet to hear that Robin Wright had a crush on Cary — she said she was "smitten" with him. Both Cary and Wallace Shawn were nervous about their performances; apparently Wallace was convinced that the director was going to replace him in the movie (which Reiner denied). Cary wrote that he was insecure because so much of the movie was riding on his performance as Westley and the Man in Black.

Another good story was the time Cary broke his toe because he had been trying to ride an ATV, after being egged on by André. They were in a remote location and Cary didn't want to delay filming, so he hobbled around a bit in the scene. I had never noticed it before, but when I rewatched the film, I could spot when he was limping.

The stories that Cary and Mandy Patinkin shared about their training for the famous sword fight between the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya made me appreciate that movie scene so much more. The actors spent months working with professional swordsmen, and it really shows on screen. Everyone, including the director, was proud that Cary and Mandy became proficient enough that they didn't need any stunt doubles to do the sword fighting. (The stuntman was used only for the acrobatics in that scene.) Cary even said there was some competition between him and Mandy while they were training, and that it pushed them to work even harder.

Overall this is a glowing, nostalgic look back at the movie that has become a beloved favorite. This is not one of those Hollywood memoirs that gets ugly and smears other celebrities — I do not think there is a harsh word in the entire book, other than some pointed comments about the studio marketing department that didn't know how to promote the movie. But luckily, the VHS market was about to boom, and the cast and crew credit that development with giving the movie the large fan base it has today.

I listened to "As You Wish" on audio, and it was a delight. Hearing Cary Elwes read reminded me of why I had such a crush on him.* He is a charming narrator, and the audiobook also features readings by Rob Reiner, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, Carol Kane, Christopher Guest, Norman Lear and Andy Scheinman. If you like audiobooks and are a fan of this movie, I would highly recommend listening to it.

I enjoyed reading this memoir so much that I watched the movie again (for perhaps the 101st time) and I want to reread Goldman's book. Is there such a thing as too much of The Princess Bride? Inconceivable!

*I am still upset that I missed a chance to meet Cary when I was in college. He was in Iowa filming the movie "Twister," and he and some other cast members attended a party at a nearby house. As the Man in Black says, "Get used to disappointment." ...more
4

Nov 04, 2014

This is a deeply affectionate, engaging story of the making of the film The Princess Bride, as told by Wesley Cary Elwes. It includes frequent sidebar comments from many of the other actors, the director, Rob Reiner, and others involved in creating this classic tale of pirates and princesses, wizards and giants, swordfighters and devious Sicilians. True love. And fights to the death.


As You Wish is told in a chatty, anecdotal style, and is unremittingly positive in tone (no dirty laundry being This is a deeply affectionate, engaging story of the making of the film The Princess Bride, as told by Wesley Cary Elwes. It includes frequent sidebar comments from many of the other actors, the director, Rob Reiner, and others involved in creating this classic tale of pirates and princesses, wizards and giants, swordfighters and devious Sicilians. True love. And fights to the death.


As You Wish is told in a chatty, anecdotal style, and is unremittingly positive in tone (no dirty laundry being aired here). This memoir probably won't appeal much to people who aren't Princess Bride fans, but those will find a lot to enjoy in the pages of this book. The most poignant parts are the stories and tributes to Andre the Giant, who passed away about five years after the movie was released in 1987, and this quote from Mandy Patinkin:It was 1986. My father died in 1972. I read that script and I wanted to play Inigo because my mind immediately want, If I can get that six-fingered man, then I'll have my father back, in my imaginary world. He'll be alive in my imagination. So that was it for me. It was like, I'll become the greatest sword fighter, and my reward will not be to be in this movie that ended up being what it's become to all these people; my reward will be that my father will come back.The book also touches upon what happened after the movie came out, including a 25th anniversary party/reunion:



I will say that I think it's the kind of book I'd recommend getting from the library rather than buying it as a keeper, unless you're a truly rabid fan. I don't think I'll ever be particularly interested in rereading it, as much as I enjoyed it the first time. So it's a soft 4 stars.

I can't think of a better way to end this review than with some of the classic quotes from the film (most of which are also in the original novel -- which, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite books and I recommend it highly):

"Inconceivable!"
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."
"Get used to disappointment."
"I'm not a witch! I'm your wife!"
"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you." "You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die."
"Mawidge. That bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dweam ... Twue wuv!"
"Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
"Have fun storming the castle!"
"As you wish." ...more
4

Oct 24, 2014



I am so tempted to give it 5 stars just for how much I love learning any new tidbit about this movie. I am such a Princess Bride fan girl. This is me when I found out the book existed.



THIS movie cover is my favorite -- see how the title is the same upside down?


The book covers how the different actors came together to be part of movie. Cary talks about his nervousness and how sweet he was on Robin.


Cary talks about how grueling learning the swordplay was.
Just for fun, here is a link to the

I am so tempted to give it 5 stars just for how much I love learning any new tidbit about this movie. I am such a Princess Bride fan girl. This is me when I found out the book existed.



THIS movie cover is my favorite -- see how the title is the same upside down?


The book covers how the different actors came together to be part of movie. Cary talks about his nervousness and how sweet he was on Robin.


Cary talks about how grueling learning the swordplay was.
Just for fun, here is a link to the famous swordfight BUT WITH LIGHTSABERS!!!! HERE

You'll hear about the little people inside the R.O.U.S. costumes and how one came to be arrested just before he was needed for filming the scene.

Billy Crystal and Carol Kane were so great together even behind the scenes. They came together before filming and created some backstory and generally worked their chemistry out beforehand. Billy is always great at improv and ad libbing. Apparently some of these scenes were too risque to be put in the final film, including these little gems:
“Don’t bother me, sonny. I had a bad day — I found my nephew with a sheep.” “True love is the greatest thing in the world — except for a good BM.”
Cary, who was supposed to be "mostly dead", couldn't hold it together during this scene. They had to use a dummy on the slab. Rob Reiner wouldn't even stay in the room, but watched from a soundbooth so he could guffaw away. Mandy Patinkin actually sustained his ONLY injury on the set by holding in his laughter - he actually bruised his ribs.

Cary violently broke his toe by agreeing to drive/ride Andre's only mode of transportation while on set. Andre was too large for any other vehicle.



Three things in the book really touched me. The first was Andre, who was the gentlest guy ever. We hear more about his childhood and younger days,

how much he could drink at one sitting (here is his hand with a normal size beer),

and a rip-roaring fart for the ages while on set. We hear how he calmed an acrophobic cast-mate and how he kept Robin warm on the cold days by placing his huge hand gently on her head (apparently the man generated an amazing amount of heat).

The second thing that touched me was hearing more of Mandy Patinkin's inspiration for his part as Inigo Montoya. His father had recently died from cancer. He took all that pent up anger and decided in his mind's eye that he would be defeating his father's cancer, if only in his imagination. So when he says, I want my father back, you son of a bitch! He was really honestly feeling those emotions about his father and the anger he had toward the cancer that claimed his life.




He is also very gracious to everyone who every asks him to say his iconic line. He says he always does it. I wonder if it is because he sort of relives that moment whenever he says it. That line just means so much to him.



The last thing that touched me had to do with Cary's visit to his grandfather during the filming (he also died while before the movie wrapped). Very touching thoughts.

I'm just happy to know these random things about the movie. One more happy dance for the road...

...more
4

Mar 31, 2017

This is, by far and away, one of the warmest "let's get together and talk about the making of my favorite movie" books I've ever read, but I really need to remember that it's really nothing more than that. :)

I've already heard, from what seems like millions of sources, that Princess Bride touched them deeply and how it always seems to be a personal favorite film for each of us.

Hell, I find myself being one of those people. I LOVED the film. It has fantastic writing, great pacing, great acting, This is, by far and away, one of the warmest "let's get together and talk about the making of my favorite movie" books I've ever read, but I really need to remember that it's really nothing more than that. :)

I've already heard, from what seems like millions of sources, that Princess Bride touched them deeply and how it always seems to be a personal favorite film for each of us.

Hell, I find myself being one of those people. I LOVED the film. It has fantastic writing, great pacing, great acting, and even a three-act structure as if it was a Shakespearian play! :)

But mostly what I get from this book is an utter fan-service, and that's just fine if we love nostalgia, and we do. Don't we? Oh yes, we do. :)

I particularly love the tidbits about where Cary and Robin kept kissing and when Cary worked through a broken toe and, of course, just how much effort went into learning the swordplay. :) That was brilliant.


...more
5

Nov 19, 2014

I have to say, first of all, that I love the Princess Bride. It's one of the few stories where I love the movie as much as I love the book. I can't remember the first time I watched it, whether it was on tv, or I rented it by chance from our local movie place. My sister, who is not a fantasy fan, loves this movie. Her best friend from high school loves this movie. When my sister had to give a speech at said best friend's wedding it was from the Princess Bride, and how they used the movie in the I have to say, first of all, that I love the Princess Bride. It's one of the few stories where I love the movie as much as I love the book. I can't remember the first time I watched it, whether it was on tv, or I rented it by chance from our local movie place. My sister, who is not a fantasy fan, loves this movie. Her best friend from high school loves this movie. When my sister had to give a speech at said best friend's wedding it was from the Princess Bride, and how they used the movie in the process of screening boyfriends. It was this speech that robbed me of the opportunity to use it at my sister's wedding, but I did get one of my favorite quotes, on the quilt my mother had guests sign instead of a album. So, when I give this book five stars, I'm more than a bit biased, but that's okay.



I really loved how the book took you through the entire process of making the movie. I liked finding out how hard it was to even get the movie made at all, and how many of the people involved had first fallen in love with the book. I have to admit I saw the movie first, and only found the book years later, when I was in high school I believe. I liked knowing how much so many of the people involved loved the book.



The information on all the people involved was interesting. I liked that he didn't just tell us about the big actors, but the crew as well. It was interesting knowing what they had worked on, and how many of them had worked closely together before this movie. All the information on sword fighting was fascinating. The respect that the author had for the sword masters that taught him was nice, and I never knew that both the actors did all the sword fighting in the movie. That they worked really hard so that they could make it look good. My sister fenced in high school, and her fencing instructor, talked bout how good the fencing in the movie looked.



Most of all I love how much of a loving tribute this was to the movie, and the process of making it. I loved the respect, and admiration the cast had for each other. I liked what they had to say about each other, and I liked how different people opened up about their fears, and insecurities. It was refreshing to read a book like this that didn't trash anyone. It was a heart warming read without feeling too cloying. How could I not love such a gracious ode to one of my favorite stories of all times.



PS - I have extra respect for Wally Shawn now. I had no idea exactly how smart he is.



PPS RIP:







...more
4

Jun 12, 2014

I remember seeing "the Princess Bride" at the dollar movie at the end of 1987. I loved it completely and wondered why I'd never heard of it. Of course, I was smitten by Westley. I bought the book at the campus bookstore before I graduated the following year. The movie has since become a classic and my children quote it better than I ever did.

The actor playing Westley grew up and wrote a memoir on the making of this epic movie. I do not use epic lightly. Cary Elwes a little known actor who was I remember seeing "the Princess Bride" at the dollar movie at the end of 1987. I loved it completely and wondered why I'd never heard of it. Of course, I was smitten by Westley. I bought the book at the campus bookstore before I graduated the following year. The movie has since become a classic and my children quote it better than I ever did.

The actor playing Westley grew up and wrote a memoir on the making of this epic movie. I do not use epic lightly. Cary Elwes a little known actor who was just getting some solid experience in the business when he was approached by Rob Reiner to play Westley. He was ecstatic. Turns out, this was a very special and exact movie, a screenplay written by the author of the novel, years earlier for his daughters. How do you make a perfect movie for the perfect book? The right director, the right cast, and best supporting staff, and some magic thrown in by Miracle Max.

The movie is an anomaly; the perfect balance of satire and fairy tale. Every character given perfect lines (some ad libbed), yet a perfectly clean, seamless adventure, love story, fairy tale emerges. So, it seems, the making of this movie was also. A few wonderful secrets are given away like how they climbed The Cliffs of Insanity and the story of the broken toe, the secrets of the swamps, the fire, and best of all, the sword fights. Big spoiler here, the sword fights were real and hard earned.

This is really the story of what can happen on the set of a movie when there is mutual love and respect for one another and a true passion about the art. ...more
4

Mar 31, 2017

As with a few things in life, I discovered The Princess Bride late in life, this past week to be exact. However, from the first scene onwards I was enthralled and in love. Therefore, and because Ginger said it would be immensely funny and insightful, I had to read this book (I'm usually too sceptical about memoirs or making-of books). It tells the story of how Rob Reiner made the movie adaptation of William Goldman's The Princess Bride as told by "Wesley" aka Cary Elwes, with the kind "help" of As with a few things in life, I discovered The Princess Bride late in life, this past week to be exact. However, from the first scene onwards I was enthralled and in love. Therefore, and because Ginger said it would be immensely funny and insightful, I had to read this book (I'm usually too sceptical about memoirs or making-of books). It tells the story of how Rob Reiner made the movie adaptation of William Goldman's The Princess Bride as told by "Wesley" aka Cary Elwes, with the kind "help" of his fellow cast members of which several interview snippets are thrown in.

Though the print edition has cool production pictures and even some private ones from the cast and crew, this audio version was the best because it made it even funnier and lovelier.

We start with the horrendous ordeal almost any movie has to go through to get approval (Hollywood is just stupid), followed by Rob Reiner meeting the author and convincing him to grant them the rights (after the Hollywood disaster the author had bought the rights back). Then comes casting and, finally, the actual production and reception (which wasn't too good at first). But this description sounds dull. This book, however, is anything but.
The way Cary Elwes lovingly retells his experiences, the fact that all the cast members contributed, the humbleness and heart of all involved, the genius of Rob Reiner, ... a truly magical and exceptional story that leaves no doubt about why the movie is still so important to people all around the world.

Also, some experiences are almost unbelievable. Like when Elwes meets a fan who tells him how the movie saved his life:
My favourite story about this involves a man and his son whom I met while I was filming a movie in Rochester, New York. The father told me how the movie actually saved him from going insane.
I always have time for fans but this guy definitely piqued my interest.
"How, if you don't mind my asking?"
He proceeded to explain that he had been on active duty in the military and had recently returned from a long deployment in Iraq. His base had been located in a highly dangerous area. There were lots of snipers, IEDs, and mortar fire, he told me. After losing a lot of his comrades, morale amongst the unit had sunk to an all-time low. So every night from that point on, before the soldiers went out in their Humvees to secure the perimeter or go on patrol, their commanding officer would give them their orders and send them on their way with these words: "Have fun storming the castle!"
"Thanks to your movie we were all able to complete our mission on that base, as our CO was able to always make us smile before heading out. And that did a lot for morale."
That is profoundly powerful and underlines the importance of humour that the creators and cast definitely appreciate(d) too.

But, of course, there were some incredibly funny moments too, like the toe story (especially that Rob Reiner and Andy Scheinman thought he had just found a wonderfully elegant way of sitting down - bwahahahahaha).

Then there were the impressive parts, most notably the fencing.
Cary and Mandy had to learn to fence both left-handed and right-handed, and we wanted to make sure that they could design a really cool fencing sequence. So when we finally got to it, I was so proud of the fact that the two of them - I mean, Mandy had started working on it even before we went over to London; he was working on it I think for about four months, and Cary worked for only about two months - I'm very proud of the fact that every single frame of actual sword fighting is both of them. There are no doubles except for the acrobatics when they flip off the bar. The actual swordplay, every single frame, is just the two of them. Left-handed and right-handed. I put it up against any swordfight in movie history."
And Rob Reiner is right! That IS impressive. It is also said at one point that the swordmasters made them train with their left hands first and that, in the end, "Inigo" was actually better with his left, despite being right-handed (which explains why I thought his fight sequence right at the beginning of the iconic swordfight was better than when he had switched to his supposed strong hand).

What struck me was how many people of the movie business back then I actually know without actively knowing them. Like the two swordmasters Peter Diamond and Bob Anderson (both dead in the meantime, sadly). I've been a fangirl of theirs ever since I saw my first swordfight on television!
Or André the Giant (I know him from The Fall Guy and The Six Million Dollar Man mostly).

Let me tell you that Elwes' story of his fellow cast members were at least as intriguing as the production details themselves. Especially André stood out though, for he must have been one of those rare, truly gentle people.
André knew he wasn't going to live to a ripe old age and even told Billy Crystal at one point during the shoot, "We don't get such a good break, the little guys and the big guys. We don't live so long."
I think that is why Anré carried himself in life with that beatific smile of his. He never took a single day for granted, not knowing if it might be his last. He wanted to share how beautiful life was with everyone he came into contact with. He was as generous-hearted and sweet a person as I ever hope to meet. The kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, a shirt big enough for four or five people. He never let anyone pay for a meal or drink as he wanted to be the one to give instead of receiving.
Just to show anyone not knowing who I am talking about just HOW BIG this guy was (it was genetic by the way and, yes, caused his death before he ever turned even only 50):

This is him in the movie with Princess Buttercup aka Robin Wright.

The famous beer can picture, also mentioned in this book. And yes, it's regular sized and has not been tampered with.

This is him with "Conan" aka Arnie.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that (back injuries aside), André could lift an Aston Martin with his bare hands (yep, he did it once). He sometimes made fun of his friends by moving their parked cars while they were in a building. *lol*

This book, then, is a nostalgic read even for me. It makes you relive the movie and get a deep insight into life back then and it gives you the impression of truly knowing all the people involved (there were some surprising and personal revelations from all involved in here). However, it also makes you miss your childhood while still making you feel cozy - just like the movie itself. I hope the movie will continue to be ageless and beloved and yes, I'm gonna rewatch it tonight. ...more
5

Jan 08, 2015



(This is a review of the audiobook.) Wonderfully narrated by many of the stars from the movie, reading their contributions. I did miss Billy Crystal and Mandy Patinkin’s voices, but it is still a wonderful listen.

Even if you only liked The Princess Bride, and didn’t love it like I did, you'll enjoy this book. CE said he wrote it from his heart, and that comes through on every page.

Sorry... can’t write more, I’m off to re-watch the movie.



★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Wonderfully narrated by many of the stars from the movie, reading their contributions. I did miss Billy Crystal and Mandy Patinkin’s voices, but it is still a wonderful listen.

Even if you only liked The Princess Bride, and didn’t love it like I did, you'll enjoy this book. CE said he wrote it from his heart, and that comes through on every page.

Sorry... can’t write more, I’m off to re-watch the movie.

...more
5

Dec 02, 2014

4 stars for the book itself, and 1 additional star for the wonderful narration.
It was just lovely, heart warming and funny. I listened to the whole thing with a big smile on my face and sometimes tears in my eyes.
If you're a fan of the movie, you HAVE to listen to the audiobook. Just make sure you've got the dvd ready once you're done!
4

Dec 04, 2016

If you're a die-hard Princess Bride fan, you'll eat this up with a spoon. This is a light-hearted, charming account of the making of the movie from Cary Elwes' (Westley's) point of view. It's a definite love-fest between and about the cast members--no dirt dished here! That's okay, because we don't really want to think about our beloved PB characters being nasty to each other. There's plenty of awed admiration for everyone from the young, star-struck Cary, who was only 23 at the time of the If you're a die-hard Princess Bride fan, you'll eat this up with a spoon. This is a light-hearted, charming account of the making of the movie from Cary Elwes' (Westley's) point of view. It's a definite love-fest between and about the cast members--no dirt dished here! That's okay, because we don't really want to think about our beloved PB characters being nasty to each other. There's plenty of awed admiration for everyone from the young, star-struck Cary, who was only 23 at the time of the filming. There are some genuinely funny stories, and some behind the scenes info that makes me impatient to watch the movie again. My favorite is the story behind Westley's first encounter with Count Rugen. I've definitely got to watch that again!

Anyway, if you're a PB fan, I suggest checking it out. The audio version is especially enjoyable, since you get to hear the entire story in Elwes's smooth British accent, along with inserted remarks from actual cast members. In this book, the PB world remains a fairy tale! ...more
5

Oct 16, 2014

Finished this one on the day I bought it. I'm thinking about buying it again, this time on audible so I can hear the author read it. For some reason, nearly everyone of the Andre stories – – of which there are many – – kept making my eyes fill with tears.
3

Sep 24, 2014

First things first. If you're not a fan of The Princess Bride, (inconceivable!), then I wouldn't bother reading this book. Even if you're a big film buff or really enjoy entertainment memoirs, I'd say skip it. This isn't some Hollywood tell-all or insightful exploration of the movie business. There aren't juicy anecdotes about celebrity misbehavior. There aren't big technical explanations about filmmaking. Instead, this is a big, gushy, enthusiastically nostalgic love letter to The Princess First things first. If you're not a fan of The Princess Bride, (inconceivable!), then I wouldn't bother reading this book. Even if you're a big film buff or really enjoy entertainment memoirs, I'd say skip it. This isn't some Hollywood tell-all or insightful exploration of the movie business. There aren't juicy anecdotes about celebrity misbehavior. There aren't big technical explanations about filmmaking. Instead, this is a big, gushy, enthusiastically nostalgic love letter to The Princess Bride and everyone involved in making it. It's sweet and sentimental and affectionate. It also happens to be an incredibly fast read. I finished in two sittings.

If you are a fan of what is arguably the most quotable movie ever made (and one of my perennial favorites), then this is really worth reading. I was touched by how genuinely every one of the actors and crew members involved in the movie seem to care for it. They love it, they loved making it, and they love that we, the audience, love it. So we get little anecdotes about the making of the movie: how hard everyone worked, how nice everyone was, how funny everyone was. How special the experience was. It's all very faraway, Vaseline-on-the-lens nostalgic. But that's ok, because fans of this movie don't want to have their affection tainted by stories of bad behavior and arguments and sullenness. This movie is magical to the people who love it, and hearing that the people who made it feel that way too is exactly appropriate.

Now, please excuse me. I have to go rewatch the movie. ...more
4

Jul 04, 2016

Before I start my review, I want to mention that As You Wish is the perfect audiobook for a road trip between St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. I was traveling with my daughter and husband, and we were all entertained by Elwes' memories of the making of the film. It's really not that easy to find a book that works for all three of us, but this was an absolute hit. I can't recommend it enough and if you're already a fan of the movie, I'm sure that you'll love it even more.

Though it Before I start my review, I want to mention that As You Wish is the perfect audiobook for a road trip between St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. I was traveling with my daughter and husband, and we were all entertained by Elwes' memories of the making of the film. It's really not that easy to find a book that works for all three of us, but this was an absolute hit. I can't recommend it enough and if you're already a fan of the movie, I'm sure that you'll love it even more.

Though it starts out a bit self-congratulatory in tone, throwing around words like "timeless", "modern classic", and "once-in-a-lifetime experience", As You Wish is ultimately, like The Princess Bride, a very sweet and and enjoyable memoir about the events behind the making of the film. At first, as I said, I was afraid that I was going to be bored to tears. Rob Reiner wrote and narrated the foreward and it is sugary sweet in its praise of the author, the movie, and everything to do with either. This high praise, some may argue, is well deserved, but I thought that it might have fit better in the flow of the tale as an afterword. First, the play then the applause, but, that's just my opinion.

Some of the best parts of the memoir, not surprisingly, centered around Elwes' interactions with his colorful co-stars. Andre the Giant figures largely into this tale, as he did in life, not only because of the enormous size of his body but also his heart. The brightest among us always seem to burn too quickly. Another of my favorite parts is the description of Elwes' and Patinkin's struggle to film the "greatest sword fight in modern times." I had no idea of the amount of backbreaking work that went into the acquisition of the skills to run the scene. From day one of filming, Elwes and Patinkin were schooled by some of the best sword fighters in the movie business. Now that I know, I'm going to have to re-watch the film. I had always assumed that the fight was done by stuntmen. How wrong I was...

If you enjoy the film, The Princess Bride, you must listen to this audiobook. It is a real treat and you'll appreciate some hidden gems revealed by Elwes' narration. To borrow some descriptors from the book, it was a magical, "once-in-a-lifetime" moment when talent and story mixed together to create a "timeless, modern classic". If you're looking for some film related read-alikes (for movies other than the Princess Bride), try Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future...: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned by Michael J. Fox. ...more
4

Apr 28, 2018

This book was such a wonderful and heart-warming experience! Obviously, a must-read for any fan of the movie, but also just such a positive look at everything that goes into making a film. It really was great to read about how much the cast and crew bonded throughout the filming process while also discovering so many behind-the-scenes stories.
5

Dec 05, 2019

This was such a delightful experience. Nonfiction isn’t anywhere near by genre of choice, but The Princess Bride is among my favorite movies of all time, so I decided to give it a go. Also, Carey Elwes is an absolute treasure. But even the fact that the book was the backstory of one of my favorite movies as told by its lead actor wasn’t enough to entice me into buying a copy of this book. Until I came across the audio version. Let me tell you, I jumped right on that, especially once I learned This was such a delightful experience. Nonfiction isn’t anywhere near by genre of choice, but The Princess Bride is among my favorite movies of all time, so I decided to give it a go. Also, Carey Elwes is an absolute treasure. But even the fact that the book was the backstory of one of my favorite movies as told by its lead actor wasn’t enough to entice me into buying a copy of this book. Until I came across the audio version. Let me tell you, I jumped right on that, especially once I learned that Carey Elwes himself, along with the majority of his Princess Bride co-stars and those who were involved with filming, directing, writing, and producing the movie, narrated the audio. Getting to hear these people, whose work together has been delighting countless viewers for over 30 years, talk about their experience with the movie was a wonderful experience. It just made me appreciate even more this movie that has been so special to me for nearly half of my life. So many lines from this story have worked their way into my family’s vocabulary and, while that is in large part due to the brilliance of Goldman’s writing, the voices in which we heard them spoken are what have kept them in our heads for well over a decade.

In recent years I’ve come to really appreciate what audiobooks bring to the table. I strongly disagree with those who don’t consider audiobook consumption to be truly “reading,” as studies have shown the the exact same portions of the brain are being stimulated by visually reading or listening to a story. (That being said, I also firmly disagree with those who listen to a dozen or more books a week at the highest speed possible, resulting in chipmunk-esque background noise. I don’t see how on earth anyone could properly connect with a story in that way, but that’s just my personal opinion.) Audiobooks have become among my most constant companions, accompanying me on long walks and long drives and long bouts of household chores.

I’ve experienced some truly wonderful stories through this medium, and Elwes’s story behind The Princess Bride is among those. First of all, hearing anything as told by its author is always a fantastic experience, especially if they happen to have a nice speaking voice. Elwes, who has made his living off of his voice and face, was a pleasure to listen to. And he wasn’t alone. Getting to hear from Billy Crystal and Robin Wright, Rob Reiner and many more, was equally wonderful. I loved hearing how much everyone loved their involvement in this movie and knew it was special long before it gained it loyal following. I also loved that everyone involved in the making of the movie seemed so genuinely fond of one another, and had such great respect of one another.

One of the most unexpected aspects of this book was how much everyone raved about Andre the Giant, one of the few cast members who had passed on before the writing of this book. While I had always found his character sweet and delightful, I knew little about him outside of his role as Fezzik. Hearing about how much everyone loved him was just so sweet. Throughout the entire audiobook, I was captivated by how much everyone loved and respected each other, and that, for the most part, filming this movie was a wonderful experience for them and still serves as one of the highlights of their careers.

If you’re a fan of The Princess Bride, you really need to give this book a read. And I wholeheartedly recommend doing so through audio, as the story was far more impactful in my opinion whey voiced by those who lived it. If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride, I’m begging you to give it a shot. It’s beloved for a reason. Everything about As You Wish made my heart happy. Now excuse me while I go rewatch the movie was the hundredth time.

Have fun storming the castle!

You can find this review and more at Novel Notions. ...more
3

Feb 26, 2018



A happy, cute, sweet (insert sugary words here) non-fiction story about the making of the classing movie, The Princess Bride.

Honestly, I don't what I was expecting. There is no juicy dish here, nothing out of the ordinary. Just a great group of actors who genuinely seemed to love each other talking about the rather mundane aspects of filming said movie. The most exciting part of the story was when Cary Elwes broke his toe.

A must read for The Princess Bride superfans, but just a mildly pleasant

A happy, cute, sweet (insert sugary words here) non-fiction story about the making of the classing movie, The Princess Bride.

Honestly, I don't what I was expecting. There is no juicy dish here, nothing out of the ordinary. Just a great group of actors who genuinely seemed to love each other talking about the rather mundane aspects of filming said movie. The most exciting part of the story was when Cary Elwes broke his toe.

A must read for The Princess Bride superfans, but just a mildly pleasant way to pass the time for everyone else.

*~~Check out all of my reviews & my bookstagram at the links below~~*

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5

Dec 07, 2014

If somehow you have managed over the last 28 or so years managed to miss The Princess Bride stop what you're doing and get it. Maybe you can find it on line or available on your cable system...go ahead, the rest of us will wait. Go watch it.....

Okay, caught up? Now you'll see why I recommend this book and what all we nerds see in this classic gem of a movie.

I learned a lot from this books which i got in audio read by the author. The first thing i learned is that for 28 years I've been If somehow you have managed over the last 28 or so years managed to miss The Princess Bride stop what you're doing and get it. Maybe you can find it on line or available on your cable system...go ahead, the rest of us will wait. Go watch it.....

Okay, caught up? Now you'll see why I recommend this book and what all we nerds see in this classic gem of a movie.

I learned a lot from this books which i got in audio read by the author. The first thing i learned is that for 28 years I've been mispronouncing "Elwes"...

Really, the story of the making of the movie which it turns out looked for a long time as if it wouldn't get made I predict you'll find, funny, endearing and sad.

It seems that the script of this movie had been "floating" around for some years. No one knew what to call it. Wes it an adventure? Was it a parody? Was it a romance? That curse followed it even after the movie was made. If you were around back in 1987 you may recall that in theaters the movie didn't make much of a "splash".

However once it hit video we all discovered it and the movie has never looked back. Now multiple generations have seen and loved the movie.

So, really read (or if you take my advice listen to) this one. Recomm3ended, enjoy. ...more
4

Oct 10, 2014

I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

I was a freshman in college in 1987 when The Princess Bride was released in theaters. (Egads.) I didn't know what to expect from the movie, but I'm a big fan of noble quests, swashbuckling heroes, and true love, so it was no surprise I was completely enamored of it, and saw it twice more in the theaters. (What else was I going to do, study?)

Even though The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, it was only a modest box office hit. I had no idea 27 years I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

I was a freshman in college in 1987 when The Princess Bride was released in theaters. (Egads.) I didn't know what to expect from the movie, but I'm a big fan of noble quests, swashbuckling heroes, and true love, so it was no surprise I was completely enamored of it, and saw it twice more in the theaters. (What else was I going to do, study?)

Even though The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, it was only a modest box office hit. I had no idea 27 years ago that I was watching a movie that was destined to be a classic, and as I've learned from Cary Elwes' terrific As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, the film's actors and creators had no idea either.

The role of Westley, the film's protagonist, was a career-making one for Elwes, who was an actor with very few films under his belt when his agent told him director Rob Reiner wanted to meet with him. A fan of William Goldman's book when he read it as a teenager, he knew this was a movie he desperately wanted to be a part of, even though he had no idea just how it would change his life.

If you're a fan of The Princess Bride, you'll love this book. It's a great look at what it was like to make a movie like this with a small budget back in the 1980s (the descriptions of their "special effects" were very amusing, and they definitely have given me some things to look for the next time I watch the movie). There's also some behind-the-scenes stuff I had never heard before, like the fact than an earlier version of the film being pitched by a different director had a then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger as Fezzik. The book is also interspersed with reminiscences from Reiner and his producing partner, Andy Scheinman, as well as Goldman, and costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and Fred Savage.

The anecdotes Elwes shares about his many costars, were fascinating, humorous, and, in some cases, touching. (His recollections of his relationship with André the Giant were really special.) What I loved about it was the fact that every actor (as well as Reiner and Scheinman) recognized they were part of something special, even if they didn't realize the lasting appeal the movie would have. But more than that, the book gives you a small sense of how much fun it must have been to be part of this movie, because it was fun simply reading about it.

I'm grateful to Cary Elwes for writing this book and giving me more reasons to treasure The Princess Bride. If you're someone who finds themselves uttering, "Inconceivable," "Have fun storming the castle," or, of course, "As you wish," occasionally, you'll enjoy it as much as I did. ...more
4

Jun 04, 2015

First of all, if by some odd chance you have not seen the movie The Princess Bride, GO WATCH IT BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK. At least five times, if not five dozen. Then you can come read As You Wish and see the movie in your head while you read. You can say to yourself "Okay, let me go watch again to see if I spot the USS Coral Sea baseball cap in the little boy's bedroom!" And "Westley really was knocked unconscious when
the Duke hit him on the head with the hilt of his sword?!....I thought it First of all, if by some odd chance you have not seen the movie The Princess Bride, GO WATCH IT BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK. At least five times, if not five dozen. Then you can come read As You Wish and see the movie in your head while you read. You can say to yourself "Okay, let me go watch again to see if I spot the USS Coral Sea baseball cap in the little boy's bedroom!" And "Westley really was knocked unconscious when
the Duke hit him on the head with the hilt of his sword?!....I thought it was just extremely good timing!"

I first saw The Princess Bride in 1988 or 89, when Then Husband and I went to have dinner with some friends. We all made a trip to the video store (this was before DVDs) to pick an after dinner movie or two. I had read The Princess Bride a few times so when I saw the box on the shelf I got all excited. We rented a blood and guts one the guys insisted on also, but at the house it was ladies first, and we all liked The Princess Bride so much we watched it twice and never saw the gory movie at all.

Since then I've lost track of how many times I have seen the movie, but I know I want to see it again NOW so I can watch for all the other little behind the scenes secrets Elwes shares in this fun book. (That broken toe....dang, it must have hurt!)

Since I know the movie so well, reading this book was like being on set during filming. It was a privilege to see just how connected all the actors were, how much they felt like family, how much fun they had during the shooting, how very special they all were individually and how magical they were together.

By the way, if by some odd chance you have not read The Princess Bride GO READ IT! And be prepared to die....laughing. I've already started yet another re-read, so I'm off to storm the castle now. Have fun! ...more
5

Sep 20, 2016

A great book on the behind the scenes stories of a great movie. Lots of candid stories from all the cast, but mostly from Elwes. Filled with funny, serious stuff and a passion for doing a great film, detailing the pride and insecurities of the actors.
3

Nov 28, 2019

Cary Elwes, the swashbuckling leading man of the fairytale classic, The Princess Bride, takes us on a journey through the making of this film. From the first day's casting to the final scene, he shares his experience as a twenty-three-year-old actor stepping into the principal role of a project peppered with comedic legends. Director Rob Reiner, fresh off his mockumentary hit This is Spinal Tap, filled his roster with as much journeyman talent as it could hold - including but not limited to: Cary Elwes, the swashbuckling leading man of the fairytale classic, The Princess Bride, takes us on a journey through the making of this film. From the first day's casting to the final scene, he shares his experience as a twenty-three-year-old actor stepping into the principal role of a project peppered with comedic legends. Director Rob Reiner, fresh off his mockumentary hit This is Spinal Tap, filled his roster with as much journeyman talent as it could hold - including but not limited to: Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon, Peter Falk, Wallace Shawn, Peter Cook, and Mel Smith. Mr. Elwes admits, quite graciously, to have been quaking nearly every day in those sleek black pirate boots of his.

While overall a softball pitch of a series of reflections, there are some interesting stories here about life on-set with the anxious Mr. Shawn (who feared throughout that he was about to be replaced by Danny DeVito), the competitive Patinkin (whose sword got away from him to embed itself in Guest's upper thigh), and the towering presence of Andre the Giant (who was ferried to school as a child by none other than Samuel Beckett).

What is also worthy of note, and makes this account unique in the genre of movie memoirs, is its complete lack of cynicism, combativeness, sexual content, or foul language. You could package the book with the movie and sell it to young and old alike. A compatible combination you might want to keep in mind come the holiday season and the nightmare of locating a gift for, say, your persnickety old Aunt Tilly.
...more
5

Sep 04, 2014

I’m a huge, HUGE, HUGE fan of the movie. My kids have watched it with me year after year since its release on VHS in 1988 (I have since bought it on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Amazon Prime). I even quoted it during my son’s wedding reception earlier this year while I was giving my “best man speech”. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times with my young granddaughters, acting out many of the parts as we play afterwards (I’m usually Fezzik to their Buttercups). :D

Even still, I was hesitant to read this I’m a huge, HUGE, HUGE fan of the movie. My kids have watched it with me year after year since its release on VHS in 1988 (I have since bought it on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Amazon Prime). I even quoted it during my son’s wedding reception earlier this year while I was giving my “best man speech”. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times with my young granddaughters, acting out many of the parts as we play afterwards (I’m usually Fezzik to their Buttercups). :D

Even still, I was hesitant to read this book. I mean, really, how exciting can a book about a movie shoot actually be? This could be a pretty boring book, especially considering it was written about a movie that was shot over 30 years ago. Plus, I didn’t want to destroy the magic of the film itself.

I've read a lot of books this year(!), and I’m truly glad I read this one (it even made it to my favorites list). The amount of detail that Elwes recounts, the hidden gems that happened behind-the-scenes as the movie was being filmed, especially the camaraderie and love shared by the cast and crew, makes this a worthwhile book. There are many laugh-out-loud moments (Andre the Giant’s “mighty wind” during a pivotal scene in the movie), a few tearful and poignant moments (the loss of his grandfather during filming, and the crews’ subsequent reaction). I appreciated reading about the moments recounted by many members of the cast in which fans have shared how the movie has impacted their lives. This was truly one of those special moments in time in which Hollywood got it right, and the continuing endurance of this movie reflects that.

Highly recommended for any and all fans of the movie, The Princess Bride. ...more
4

Dec 16, 2014

A fun behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Princess Bride, as remembered by The Man in Black himself. That's right, our sweet Westley wrote about book about the making of the world's most quotable movie! The book is delightful in that there's no dirt dished, because there is none. No one threw temper tantrums, none of the co-stars hated each other and couldn't be in the same room after the director yelled, "Cut!" No, the filming was a big love-fest and so is the book.

Which is awesomely A fun behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Princess Bride, as remembered by The Man in Black himself. That's right, our sweet Westley wrote about book about the making of the world's most quotable movie! The book is delightful in that there's no dirt dished, because there is none. No one threw temper tantrums, none of the co-stars hated each other and couldn't be in the same room after the director yelled, "Cut!" No, the filming was a big love-fest and so is the book.

Which is awesomely reassuring. I really kind of hate it when you're like, "Aw, aren't they so sweet together?! Isn't that romantic?!" And then later you find out, Well, she was a brat and he was a jerk, and they were fighting the whole time! Nope. Cary Elwes had a great time making The Princess Bride, and he talks in the most glowing terms of all the cast and crew. They share reminiscences as well, and there's lovely photos in the middle.

The only drawback is that, well, when there's no scandal it's not exactly a juicy memoir. There's plenty of funny anecdotes, and some really interesting facts about how things were done, but there's no big reveal or shocking secrets. If you're looking for Hollywood scandal, you won't find it here. The most shocking story involves Andre the Giant and a giant-sized, um, wind-breaking-incident.

Still, delightful. AND, thanks to my friend Amy Finnegan, I got to go see Cary Elwes talk about the book and got to shake his hand (three times!) and get my copy signed! ...more

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